A bit over two years ago when I left my previous job I received a free Family Weekend Bongo Bon as farewell present. A Bongo Bon is a very popular type of present where you get (for different price levels) a booklet with a series of activities , restaurant or hotels you can choose from. At the restaurant of hotel you can then exchange your Bongo Bon for an actual meal or accommodation.

We took until very recently to actually book our offered weekend and decided to do it in a hotel (with swimming pool) in the Netherlands in the area of the Hoge Veluwe (around Arhnem). We new the hotel because we went there about 7 years ago when Alex was only a couple of months old.

So this weekend we headed to the Hoge Veluwe. Unfortunately, the weather was not so nice. But we decided not to stay simply at the pool but headed for a visit to Nijmegen and Arnhem on Saturday. Nijmegen is supposedly the oldest town in the Netherlands, but it suffered a lot in the second worldwar and so not a lot of hitorical buildings remain. THe result is a pretty modern city with not too much charme. Arnhem also suffered a lot, but we enjoyed it a bit more than Nijmegen.

On Sunday we then headed to the Kroller-Muller estate. This Estate of more than 55 square kilometers once was the privte property of the Kroller-Muller family and now houses a large museum of modern art and a huge sculputer garden. We used 3 of the free bikes to drive through the dunes, forests and fields of the estate. We did a total of more than 20km that took us from the southern entrance all the way to the Hunting Lodge in the North.

In fact instead of Lodge I’d rather call it a castle as you can see below. This building was built in early 20th century and is an impressive architectural building by the architect Berlage.

The building is a piece of art in itself where even the furniture was made to fit specifically at particular positions in the house. For example, in the dining room, there is only concreet in the center of the room (and no coloured tiles like in the rest of the room) to make sure that at that exact position in the room a carpet is placed with the corresponding table. Also, the lady of the house wanted to hang a painting in the dining room, but the architect did not like that since he saw the house as a piece of art in itself. But since she was paying he gave in but bolted the painting in a frame he designed to the wall to make sure it could never be put in another spot. The result of all this is a very impressive construction.

When we arrived at the Lodge it started raining. As a result we did not return all the way to the car together. I left marina with the kids in a restaurant (in the warmth of an open fire) and headed on my home to fetch the car.

So the weekend ended a bit wet, but all in all it was a relaxing moment.

All the pictures of the week are here.